Not many people will tell you that “prison films” are their favorite movie genre. While prison movies are often bleak and depressive some of the films that fall into the genre will leave you hopeful about the future. If you want a film that will give you a sense of self-discovery, internal strength, and most importantly, hope, you should check out one of the following films.
1. The Great Escape
You cannot talk about prison movies without saying a word or two about the Great Escape. The famous Steve McQueen movie tells a story of a group of WWII soldiers stuck in a German POW camp. A small group lead by McQueen plans not only to break free but also create a diversion for Nazi soldiers that will draw their away from their posts. The Great Escape is not your average prison-breakout movie – it’s actually way more fun and exciting than most.
2. Escape from Alcatraz
In the second spot, we have another movie with the word “escape” in its title. This Clint Eastwood flick is considered by many to be the quint-essential prison-escape movie. The movie brings one of the most interesting prison escape stories to life, so it’s no surprise why so many people consider it the best prison movie of all time. Even if you’re not a fan of old movies, don’t worry, there’s plenty of suspense, drama, and action that will keep you entertained from beginning to the end.
Bronson is the most-recently released movie on our list. The movie is based on a true story of Charles Bronson, one of the world’s most violent prisoners. During his prison stint, Bronson spent most of his time in a solitary confinement, due to his erratic behavior (he regularly took other prisoners as hostages and often fought multiple guards at the same time). The movie fantastically captures your imagination and inspires you, despite the actions of its protagonist. Bronson’s temper, violence, and all-around bad attitude is captured perfectly by Tom Hardy.
4. The Green Mile
The Green Mile is based on a Steven King story that follows Paul Edgecomb who works as a guard on the death row. There he meets John Coffee, an African-American prisoner convicted for murder of two white girls. And while Paul has met hundreds of inmates over the years, he has never met anyone like John Coffee. The main parts are played brilliantly by the ever-reliable Tom Hanks and the impeccable Michael Clarke Duncan.
5. The Shawshank Redemption
Last but definitely not the least, we have possibly the greatest prison movie of all time: The Shawshank Redemption. Although the movie is pretty well-known amongst the mainstream audience (it spent a few years on the top of IMDB’s Top 100 Movies list) most people don’t know that it was based on a Steven King novella. The story follows Andy Dufrane, portrayed by Tim Robbins, who is wrongly sentenced of murdering his wife and her lover. He is sent to Shawshank to spend his life sentence. There, he meets Morgan Freemans’ character, Red who can get his hands on anything you want in prison… Like a Rita Hayworth poster, for example.